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Suharto: A Political Biography Hardcover – February 11, 2002

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Editorial Reviews


"In this extensive, detailed, and well-written biography Elson portrays a man of considerable drive, intelligence, ambition, and loyalty.... Recommended for upper-division undergraduate and graduate students." Choice

"A useful...resource." Journal of Asian Studies

Book Description

General Suharto is synonymous with modern Indonesia. He became President amidst extreme social upheaval and mass violence in 1966 and retained his position until 1998, his regime known as the 'New Order'. This book provides extraordinary insights into a man who exerted extraordinary power and influence, who presented himself as an infallible father of the nation, yet who remained mysterious. He sought to transform Indonesia into a strong, united and economically prosperous nation-state. After half a century of influence however, he is remembered as much for human rights abuses and corruption on an incomparable scale. As Indonesia emerges from the political numbness that characterised his era, its future seems precarious.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 412 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (February 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521773261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521773263
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,141,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. E. Monfries on May 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Indonesians are rather embarrassed about their past these days, except for the glorious Revolution in the 1940s when they expelled the Dutch colonialists. They seem to want to forget about the man who ruled them for thirty years, though some ordinary Indonesians yearn for the stability and predictability of that time. Elson's biography is meticulously researched, readable and comprehensive, and provides an irreplaceable introduction to a crucial period, which still influences Indonesia, despite the extraordinary democratisation which has taken place. Despite appearances, many political patterns, especially those of elite politics, economic exploitation and corruption, are little changed from Suharto's time.
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